The guided tours, organized occasionally by the volunteers of the local civic group "Comitato per il Parco della Caffarella" since 1984, are provided since 1996 on Sundays by the cultural association Humus-onlus.
Organized in 1984, the Comitato seeks to promote the establishment of a public park to protect the natural and historical patrimony of this unique area. (If Rome wasn't built in a day, neither it appears will the powers that be move overly swiftly to implement the planned park which has been on the books for some 30 years now.) HUMUS is developing forms of tourism and local activities that allow both visitors and citizens of Rome to learn about the Caffarella, enjoy its beauty in ways that allow for the preservation of the natural landscape.
Both the associations aim to let to as many people as possible to be aware of the astonishing hystorical, archaeological and natural heritage of the valley of the Caffarella and of the surroundings. In our opinion, this is the best way to overcome the concept that our heritage can be protected only by putting around high fences. We believe that the best way to protect the park is the agreement and the sense of responsibility of the people living in the surroundings. These efforts are being coordinated with the municipal and regional programs to develop the Park of the Caffarella.
Guided tour to the Park of the Caffarella
meeting point at l.go P. Tacchi Venturi (in front of the Information Point), metro A: Colli Albani, bus: 87
entrance to the archaeological areas of the Triopius of Herodes Atticus, church of Sant'Urbano, Temple of the God Rediculus
rent a bike in Caffarella
on Sundays at the Information Point at l.go P. Tacchi Venturi, metro A: Colli Albani, bus: 87
On demand, guided tours in English and French are offered to groups who wish to visit the Caffarella, the Tomb of Cecilia Metella, the Complex of Maxentius, the Villa dei Quintili, and the archaeological and natural heritage of the first ten kilometers of the ancient Appian Way (Via Appia Antica) in Rome. We concentrate on the architectural aspects of these interesting monuments and explain the historical context in which they arose.
In a wedge of the splendid Roman countryside - bounded by two of the most important consular roads built back when "all roads led to Rome"- there remain intriguing vestiges of the long history of Rome. Ruins go back to the republican era, when the Roman state was being formed, and give glimpses into the imperial age, medieval Rome, and some more "modern" adaptations of the ancient sites.
To begin to explore this rich patrimony, the tour takes you first to the Tomb of Cecilia Metella, which is certainly among the most impressive monumnents (in terms of its state of preservation and importance) along the Via Appia Antica. The cylindrical structure sits on the top of a rise, just beyond the catacombs of St. Sebastian, and exemplifies the extravagant funereal architecture that was becoming common in the tumultuous social/political climate just before the advent of the empire.
A few hundred meters below the Tomb of Cecilia Metella, and closer to the center of Rome, we find the Complex built by the Emperor Maxentius. Here one can conjure up (with the aid of diagrams to be provided) what this vast project must have been like. It was built by Maxentius (300 years into the empire) as an architectural unit in a valiant attempt to symbolize a coming together of state religion (pagan) and imperial power. The circus here is the best preserved example of this type of structure to come down to us today.
It is connected to a dynastic tomb, that can be visited, and also to a suburban villa slightly higher on the hill.
This site already had a rich history before the villa was built there.
But this grandiose project was hardly completed before Maxentius was defeated by Constantine at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312 AD., thus ushering in the Christian and late phases of the Roman empire.
A contribution to the association is requested. To contact us please respond via e-mail specifying number of people, 3 preferences for date. We will respond by email to confirm an appointment. If possible, also leave a contact number (hotel/tel. number) for a confirmation in Rome.
Appia Antica regional Park
For any comment and observation you can contact us via email c/o:
or by tel. 06.789279, 333.7137257
To come back to the home page:
Notizie sul Municipio Roma IX, Caffarella, Appia Antica e Tang. Est
copyright COMITATO PER IL PARCO DELLA CAFFARELLA 15 april 2005